Have a great time this Festive Season and try to be more sustainable

Please consume responsibly this Festive Season
Please consume responsibly this Festive Season

This festive period, The Highland Council would like to encourage householders to consider a sustainable approach to the Festive Season.

Shopping responsibly and recycling as much as possible will help reduce the amount of waste produced.

Chair of Communities and Place Committee, Cllr Graham Mackenzie, said: “First and foremost I would like to wish everyone a very merry Christmas and hope everyone is able to slow down and take a break after another challenging year.

“It’s been a year when the impacts of climate change have been clear to see, so this Festive Season I would encourage everyone to think about how they can do their bit for the environment.”

He added: “You may wish to consider shopping for goods that benefit the environment, social causes, local producers and communities, and at the same time help reduce waste and the impact our purchases have on the planet.”

 “The Festive Season is a busy time for waste services in the Council, where we see a big increase in the amount of waste we collect.

“Shopping more responsibly can reduce this waste and will have a significant benefit to the Council’s disposal costs and reduce the impact on the environment.”

Shopping responsibly might include purchasing second-hand items and clothes, up-cycled gifts, gifts made from salvaged materials, or made by friends and your own homemade gifts.

A significant part of the extra waste that is created during the Festive Season is food waste. A recent analysis of household green waste bins found 25% of the waste in them to be food.

Cllr Mackenzie said: “Our analysis shows just how much food is wasted in Highland and how much money is literally being thrown away.

“The statistics are even more concerning as 10% could have been composted and alarmingly 12% was still in its unopened original packaging. Another 12% was suitable for consumption and finally 1% was unopened drinks.”

Food waste increases over the festive season and this is where we can try and this is where we can all start to be more careful and think about what we need to buy and avoid over-buying food.

Inverness residents have access to a free, weekly food waste collection, so there’s no need for any unavoidable food waste to go in the green bin. Using the food waste caddy system is convenient, easy, and clean.

Details about the food waste collection service can be found at www.highland.gov.uk/foodwaste. If you would like to start using the food waste collection service for the first time or have lost your caddies you can order a new set at  https://www.highland.gov.uk/info/1063/rubbish_-_household_waste/140/

Recycling is still very important during the Festive Season as we generate more waste than usual. Consider using your blue recycling bin to the maximum. Sweet tubs, clean aluminium foil, cardboard chocolate and selection boxes, Christmas cards, paper wrapping paper, paper packaging, cardboard, food tins, drinks cans, envelopes, food and drink cartons, aerosols and clean plastic bottles, pots, tubs and trays can all go in your blue bin.

If you’re celebrating at Hogmanay, please take empty glass bottles to your local bottle bank or Household Waste Recycling Centre. You do not have to separate your glass into separate colours, which makes it even more easy to recycle your glass bottles and jars. If you find your local bottle bank is full, please do not litter them on the ground at the banks but take them home until they can be disposed of properly.

If you have a real Christmas tree this year, please remember you can take it to your Household Waste Recycling Centre where it will be recycled into compost.

Household Waste Recycling Centres are open throughout the Festive period except Christmas Day, Boxing Day and 1st and 2nd January. We expect the sites to be busy at this time, so please check www.highland.gov.uk/recycle for full details of Household Waste Recycling Centre opening hours and for the full range of materials accepted. Householders are reminded to separate waste before arriving at the site to save time and to ensure recycling is maximised.

Please remember that trailers and vans (under 3.5T) need to book to visit the larger sites and you can do that on this link. www.highland.gov.uk/recyclingcentres

For further information about recycling in the Highlands visit: www.highland.gov.uk/recycle or email recycle@highland.gov.uk

21 Dec 2023